The Good, the Bad, and the Insightful – October 14, 2008

Without further ado, here are today’s picks for The Good, the Bad, and the Insightful:

The Good

The Economist blog Free Exchange reminds us all that it’s the housing market, stupid!

The folks at Donklephant reveal that William Timmons, head of John McCain’s presidential transition team, lobbied on the behalf of Saddam Hussein in order to levy the economic sanctions imposed on his government from the UN. Two of the lobbyists he worked with were convicted of federal criminal charges for working as agents of Hussein’s government.

Andrew Sullivan has a nice, short post showing that Palin’s position on the MSM is wrong. Dead wrong.

The Bad

Editor’s Note: Today’s bad has been removed since the writer obviously lacks any and all ability to detect a satire.

The Insightful

From the New Yorker:

There’s no doubt that this system has had huge benefits. It has made it easier for money to connect lenders and borrowers. It has removed the kinds of personal bias that kept capital in the hands of people whom men like J. P. Morgan approved of. And it has vastly expanded the amount of lending as well. But all those benefits have come at an exorbitant price. The problem with an impersonal system is that when the models fail, and when companies’ ratings become suspect, everything is called into question. Lenders can’t fall back on their own judgments of a specific company or individual, because such judgments aren’t part of their typical decision-making process. Instead, they’ve adopted a deep-seated distrust of all borrowers, even financially secure ones. If the Fed is now taking corporate I.O.U.s, it’s because everyone else is acting according to that old motto: In God we trust—all others pay cash.

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